Jorge Lorenzo will take his seventh start from pole position this season after weather complicated things at Estoril.
Due to extreme weather conditions the qualifying session at Estoril circuit was cancelled on Saturday. With water on the track and several riders crashing out during practice, Race Direction had no choice but to call off the session. The result was the seventh pole position for Fiat Yamaha’s Jorge Lorenzo this season, after the field was forced to use combined practice times to generate the starting grid. The Spaniard experienced a brief scare during practicce on Saturday when he high-sided under slippery track conditions. Luckily he, along with a handful of other riders to fall, was uninjured.
“It was a pity about this today because we needed a bit more time in the very wet conditions to try to improve our setting more, but there was no way we could have ridden this afternoon,” Lorenzo said. “This morning I felt quite good but at the end I was pushing too hard, I thought the other riders were closer to my time and I just went a step too far and crashed. I was lucky, my airbag inflated and I didn’t hurt myself. Now we have to wait and see how the weather is and we especially hope that warm-up is the same conditions as the race, it will be very, very difficult if not. Today I became the Spanish rider with the most poles of all time, joint with Aspar, and this is a great honor for me, I feel very proud.”
Also making it to the front row was Ducati’s Nicky Hayden and Lorenzo’s teammate, Valentino Rossi.
“It’s a real disappointment about today because we had some things we wanted to try, but in the end the rain was just too much and it was too dangerous,” said Rossi. “It really was impossible to ride this afternoon! In the wet I have a good setting, even if we could have improved a bit this afternoon, but I am happy about the balance of my bike. Now we just have to wait for the conditions tomorrow.”
Ducati’s Casey Stoner, Monster Yamaha Tech 3’s Ben Spies and San Caro Honda’s Marco Melandri all managed to make it to the second row after their second practice session times (see these times in our 2010 MotoGP Estoril Practice). Meanwhile, Dani Pedrosa and Carlos Checa will face difficult starts in Portugal back in 12th and 17th, respectively.
“The last position on the starting grid for my return to MotoGP World is not very exciting,” said Checa. “I’m still very happy because I had improved my feeling with the bike during this morning and also because I have reduced my best lap time by almost half of a second. For now it’s okay. I hope to be able to make many laps during tomorrow’s warm up in order to further improve my feeling.”
2010 MotoGP Estoril Qualifying Results:
1. Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha) 1’48.522
2. Nicky Hayden (Ducati) 1’48.657
3. Valentino Rossi (Yamaha) 1’48.883
Ducati’s Nicky Hayden will have an excellent chance at earning another podium after qualifying second on the grid.
4. Casey Stoner (Ducati) 1’49.061
5. Ben Spies (Yamaha) 1’49.721
6. Marco Melandri (Honda) 1’49.784
7. Andrea Dovizioso (Honda) 1’50.007
8. Randy de Puniet (Honda) 1’50.043
9. Colin Edwards (Yamaha) 1’50.313
10. Marco Simoncelli (Honda) 1’50.500
11. Aleix Espargaro (Ducati) 1’50.787
12. Dani Pedrosa (Honda) 1’50.824
13. Loris Capirossi (Suzuki) 1’51.518
14. Alvaro Bautista (Suzuki) 1’52.734
15. Hector Barbera (Ducati) 1’53.131
16. Hiroshi Aoyama (Honda) 1’53.317
17. Carlos Checa (Ducati) 1’53.933
Like the premier class, Moto 2’s qualifying activities also encountered weather difficulties and were forced to throw in the towel. After practice times were combined Fimmco Speed Up’s Gabor Talmacsi will start from pole for the first time in 2010. Talmacsi will be joined by Mapfre Aspar’s Julian Simon, 2010 World Champion Toni Elias and Technomag-CIP’s Kenan Sofuoglu, who will start his first World Championship GP event from the front row. Meanwhile Fimmco Speed Up’s Andrea Iannone, who is currently locked in a tight battle for second in the series with Simon, will have to start Sunday’s race from 35th on the grid.
2010 Moto 2 Estoril Qualifying Results:
Fimmco Speed Up’s Andrea Iannone will face an uphill battle this weekend after qualifying 35th on the grid.
1. Gabor Talmacsi (Speed Up) 1’50.916
2. Julian Simon (Suter) 1’51.304
3. Toni Elias (Moriwaki) 1’51.359
4. Kenan Sofuoglu (Suter) 1’51.949
5. Raffaele de Rosa (Tech 3) 1’52.808
6. Alex de Angelis (Motobi) 1’53.233
7. Yonny Hernandez (BQR-Moto2) 1’54.214
8. Dominique Aegerter (Suter) 1’54.247
9. Yuki Takahashi (Tech 3) 1’54.302
10. Stefan Bradl (Suter) 1’54.556
11. Alex Baldolini (I.C.P.) 1’54.568
12. Thomas Luthi (Moriwaki) 1’54.594
13. Robertino Pietri (Suter) 1’54.665
14. Ricard Cardus (Bimota) 1’55.040
15. Valentin Debise (ADV) 1’55.169